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PR: VIZ Pictures to be Partner in Movie Theatre to Promote Japanese Pop Culture

San Francisco, CA, November 27, 2007 – VIZ Pictures, an affiliate of VIZ Media LLC that focuses on Japanese live-action film distribution, has announced that it has become an owner of an art-house movie theatre set to open in winter 2008/2009 in the heart of San Francisco’s Japan Town, a prominent and historical sightseeing spot in the San Francisco Bay Area. The theatre will specialize in screening Japanese films and anime.

This 150-seat movie theatre, which is expected to open in winter 2008/2009, will be the main attraction within a multi-boutique commercial building called The J-Pop Center (for Japanese Pop culture) that will also house a bookstore, café and several hip fashion boutiques originated in Tokyo. The complex will be a popular destination for the local Bay Area community as well as tourists to experience the kawaii or “cute and cool” J-Pop culture, which has become increasingly popular across North America in the wake of the momentum behind anime and manga.

Fully equipped with THX® sound system and cutting edge film as well as digital projection systems, the theatre will screen a diverse collection of Japanese live action and animated titles, many of which have been little-seen outside Japan or at select film festivals.

VIZ Pictures has partnered with the venue as an extension of its mission to be a preeminent distributor and exhibitor of Japan’s hottest visual entertainment. The company has to-date released a diverse collection of critically acclaimed Japanese films, both theatrically and on DVD, including HULA GIRLS, KAMIKAZE GIRLS, LINDA LINDA LINDA, TRAIN MAN: DENSHA OTOKO, THE TASTE OF TEA and more.

“VIZ Pictures is committed to delivering a bright and positive message about Japanese pop culture and bringing some of the best examples to a mainstream audience.” says Seiji Horibuchi, President and CEO of VIZ Pictures. “The launch of the J-Pop Center will be focal point of our mission and offer tourists an exotic, fun and fresh look at what is hip in Japan. The theatre will introduce some of the most entertaining Japanese movies, many of which are based on popular novels, manga, and anime, as well as help to establish J-Pop as an exciting new movie category with domestic audiences.”

About VIZ Pictures, Inc.
Based in San Francisco, CA, VIZ Pictures, Inc. distributes Japanese live-action films and DVDs, with particular focus on Japanese “kawaii(cute) and cool” pop culture. VIZ Pictures approaches each release from a J-pop fan’s point of view to serve manga and anime generation in North America. VIZ Pictures titles include DEATH NOTE, TRAIN MAN: DENSHA OTOKO, LINDA LINDA LINDA and THE TASTE OF TEA. VIZ Pictures, Inc. is an affiliate of VIZ Media, LLC, the San Francisco-based leading U.S. publisher of Japanese manga (comics) and merchandise licensor of Japanese animation such as the popular “NARUTO” animated TV series.
© 2006 VIZ Pictures, Inc

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